Last year we were confronted with many challenges in our markets, and it exposed how much we are intertwined with Colombia´s current economy. Having an economy sustained mainly out of oil and coal exports, the country affects our performance when such cargoes fail to move in the expected volumes. Social unrest prevented the country from sizing opportunities as a result of the Russian-Ukrania war, opportunities that went to other horizons. Guajira peninsula, were Cerrejon mine is located was affected the most. Local communities in despair to get a fair retribution by the public administration, as it is obvious, blocked the weakest logistical point between mine and port. From the outside, it may look as if the drastic protests were against the multinational company managing the mine and exports, but in fact, as with other multinationals in the country, social benefits in the communities around these projects have been for decades benefited by the existence and development of large projects in many different positive ways. The protests made more relevant the social roles the multinational companies play in these areas, which are neither as remote nor as poor as could be seen from outside. It is sad that public administration in those areas traditionally falls way behind serving the electorate to which they are responsible. Perhaps one day the population will become more conscious on election day.
There are also many other challenges ahead for our country now under the governance of its first left wing coalition. For private companies in a country in desperate need for growth, it should not make much difference, unless there is a hidden agenda or a pandora box which it is yet to be opened.
From our perspective, a small part in the logistics supply chain involved in shipping and ports and international trade, we can only continue to do as best as we can.
This is precisely what we have planned and already started at LBH Colombia for this year. We have new goals and we are preparing the team for such new goals. At the same time, our cooperation with LBH Group units shall be strengthened in additional fields, so that we can capitalize a cohesive strong net of colleagues from different areas other than commercial and operations. These areas include compliance disciplines, standard reporting to partners, digital softwares, power bi reports, and others.
The challenge is to move forward and grow as part of this cohesive group. Keeping our operations simple in a complex environment will facilitate a strong performance, which is what customers need for their shipments: performance and reliability enhanced by a structure worth supporting because we are doing the right thing. The result is satisfaction. Then we can measure the level of our success by the level of satisfaction found in and out of our service.
We strongly believe this is the only way to building our next future, irrespective of what public administrators choose to do.